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Charleston, South Carolina | April 18—21, 2018


Contact is NTA’s exclusive buyer event: a perfect blend of business, education and fun in an intimate setting. It’s focused on in-depth education and fosters buyer-to-buyer conversation and partnerships. Contact allows tour operators, travel agents and sponsoring suppliers and DMOs to connect, create and collaborate in a three-day program.

As everyone knows, all work and no play is not what life’s all about. So Contact isn’t all about sitting in a classroom, we like to get out, see the sights and have some fun, too. Registration for Contact ’18 in Charleston is now open!

Get ready for Charleston and beyond by checking out all of our future events dates!

Attend through sponsorship

Want to get in front of all of those buyers but think you can't because you're a seller? Think again. By sponsoring Contact you'll get your business in front of a key group of senior travel buyers. Sponsorship brings your brand along for the ride.

Stay ahead of the competition

Don’t let your organization get left behind. Sponsoring at Contact puts you in front of buyers and ahead of the competition.

Make new partnerships

Create new, lasting and mutually profitable partnerships by sponsoring Contact. The event’s 1:1 ratio is to your advantage.

Get in front of the right people

There is no better way of putting your brand in front of decision-makers and active travel buyers than by sponsoring Contact.

Sightseeing Tours

Explore Charleston planned five sightseeing tours to kick off Contact ’18. Check them out and sign up for your Lowcountry adventure of choice.

Educational Outings

Brand new at Contact ’18 is your choice of three educational outings on Saturday, April 21. Which will you choose?

Stay and Play

Extend your time in Charleston before or after the event with these fun suggestions from Contact Chair Jennifer Aiken Cecil.

2018 Sponsorship Guide2018 Sponsors

invest in your future

  • Registration is open

    • $245
    • Connect and collaborate with new partners in a relaxed, intimate setting
    • Better yourself and business with education for all tour professionals
    • Tour suppliers and DMOs can attend Contact '18 through sponsorship

Contact Schedule

Tuesday, April 17

Wednesday, April 18

Thursday, April 19

Friday, April 20

  • 8:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.Exhibits open Details

    Ballroom Foyer

  • 8:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.GR Silent Auction open Details


  • 8:30 a.m.–9:30 a.m.Breakout Education Sessions Details

    Public Relations for the Digital Age (Room C1)
    Speakers: Gina Stouffer, Lou Hammond Group; Melanie Mathos, Lou Hammond Group
    Join a team from Lou Hammond Group, an award-winning marketing communications firm headquartered in New York, as they talk about how the internet has changed the travel PR industry. Explore the traditional media landscape and find out if communication tools like press releases are still important. Discuss the importance of working with bloggers and social media influencers and leave with tools for creating content that drives awareness and business.

    Importance of Cyber Security (Room C2)
    Speaker: Thomas A. Widman, Identity Fraud, Inc./BIZLock Insurance Services
    Description coming soon!

    China Market Forum (Room C3)
    Speaker: TBA
    Description coming soon!

  • 9:45 a.m.–11:00 a.m.Breakout Educational Sessions Details

    Ask the Group Leaders (Room C1)
    Moderator: TBA
    Panelists: TBA
    In an interesting twist on our “Ask the Operator” sessions at Travel Exchange, NTA is welcoming local group leaders to Contact to share their perspective on travel for their groups. This is your opportunity to learn more about what destinations and activities are on their radar, how best to communicate with and market to them, and how best to serve their needs.

    Guides: An Overview of Important Legal Issues (Room C2)
    Speaker: Jeff Ment, The Ment Law Group, LLC
    Does your company currently use tour guides or are you planning to in future? Join attorney Jeff Ment for a look at important legal issues including: classification (independent contractor or employee), managing a tax audit on classification, liability created by guides’ conduct, wage and hour considerations, and crisis management for guides.

    China Market Session (Room C3)
    Speaker: TBA
    Description coming soon!

  • 11:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.Sightseeing Tours, sponsored by Explore Charleston Details

    Sponsored by Explore Charleston.

    Sightseeing Tours depart from convention center.

    Sponsored by:

    . Explore-Charleston
  • 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.Silent Auction Finale Reception, sponsored by Lowcountry Hotels of Charleston Details

    Sponsored by Lowcountry Hotels of Charleston.

    Ballroom Foyer

  • 7:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.China Inbound Program Dinner (Invitation only), sponsored by Delta Air Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line, Tanger Outlets Details

    Sponsored by Delta Air Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line and Tanger Outlets

    Dinner will be at Anson’s.

  • 6:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m.Dine-around Details

    Shuttles to downtown Charleston provided by Explore Charleston.

    Return transportation to hotel provided at 9:30 p.m.

    Click here for Explore Charleston’s restaurant suggestions.

Saturday, April 21

  • 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.Exhibits open Details

    Ballroom Foyer

  • 8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.Pick up silent auction items Details


  • 8:45 a.m.–9:45 a.m.Breakfast, sponsored by Visit Tucson Details

    Sponsored by Visit Tucson

    Ballroom A

    Sponsored by:

    . Visit-Tucson
  • 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.Breakout Education Sessions Details

    Tour Operator Power Hour (Room C1) Operators only
    Sponsored by Tulalip Resort & Casino
    Facilitators: NTA Chair, J. Chris Babb, The Group Tour Company; Paul Larsen, Ed-Ventures
    This open forum is your opportunity to talk business, get opinions, ask questions and share ideas with your fellow NTA tour operators. Your NTA Chairman and Vice Chairman will facilitate the conversation. Have a topic you want to include on the agenda? Send it to Phillip Strunk at

    Tour Supplier & DMO Power Hour (Room C2) Suppliers and DMOs only
    Suppliers and destinations, this is your time to pose questions, toss out ideas and seek input from your NTA supplier and destination colleagues. Besides discussing what comes up on site, you can submit your questions or topic in advance. Please send those to Phillip Strunk at

    Sponsored by:

    . Tulalip
  • 11:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m.Spotlight Session: All-member Power Hour Details

    Room C2

    After a full schedule of networking, education and entertainment, what can you take away from Contact? Join all your fellow NTA colleagues to expand on the questions, ideas, and conversations from your respective member power-hour sessions and share your key takeaways and experiences in Charleston.

  • 12:15 p.m.–1:30 p.m.Luncheon Details

    Ballroom A

  • 2:15 p.m.–5:30 p.m.Education on the Go!, sponsored by Explore Charleston Details

    Sponsored by Explore Charleston

    Depart from the convention center.

    Historical/Heriage: Boone Hall Plantation
    Boone Hall Plantation is the only site in the South Carolina Lowcountry to offer a live presentation of the area Gullah culture adapted by African slaves. The tour allows guests to see how this Colonial Revival home blends recovered materials and antiques furnishings to recreate a 19th –century rural atmosphere.

    Agritourim: Charleston Tea Plantation
    Hop on the trolley for a tour of the many acres of tea plants and state-of-the-art greenhouse. Attendees will walk through the entire tea-production building and see all the equipment it takes to make tea. Last but not least is the gift ship to sample the tea flavors and shop for unique tea-related items.

    Faith: Why They Call Charleston the Holy City (downtown walking tour)
    Jeff will lead the group to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, the oldest church in the city built in 1761, where George Washington once worshipped. Historical Circular Congregation Church and Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the United States and birthplace of American Reform Judaism, also are on the schedule.

    Sponsored by:

    . Explore-Charleston
  • 6:45 p.m.–6:45 p.m.Shuttles depart for Closing Event Details

    Depart from convention center.

  • 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.Closing Event at USS Yorktown, sponsored by Explore Charleston Details

    Sponsored by Explore Charleston

    Walk in the steps of heroes aboard the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. Enjoy a southern supper with live music and unmatched views of the Charleston city skyline. While aboard the ship, explore at your leisure a priceless collection of more than two dozen historic aircraft.

    Sponsored by:

    . Explore-Charleston

Sunday, April 22

Get to Charleston with Delta

Fly into Charleston International Airport (CHS), located two miles from Embassy Suites Charleston Area Convention Center. When booking online, enter Meeting Event Code NMQQG in the box provided on the “Book a Flight” page.

Embassy Suites Charleston Area Convention Center

Embassy Suites

5055 International Blvd, North; Charleston, SC 29418 Located two miles from Charleston International Airport (CHS), each room features a separate living room and bedroom.
**Night of April 17 SOLD OUT.**

BUYERS: Single/Double: $169; Triple: $179; Quad: $189 | SPONSORS: Single/Double: $189; Triple: $199; Quad: $209


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